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What is the purpose of your website? Really, do you know? Too many businesses build websites without a clear idea of their purpose. Of course, the answers may vary, but every website should, at the very least, do this: capture leads. Your site should be a place where people can learn about your business and raise their hands to say, “Tell me more.” You must get their names, email addresses and other contact information. Otherwise, those visitors pass through and you never know who they are. You never have a chance to communicate with them further.

Here are a few elements that your site must have to accomplish this:

  • Your unique selling proposition clearly and boldly stated. Why should someone choose to do business with you as opposed to all the other available options? Your unique selling proposition is the statement that answers that question.
  • Testimonials and case studies. I covered this topic in a recent column. If your site doesn’t have them, add them now!
  • An invitation for visitors to opt in for more information. This could be a mailing list sign-up form, an offer for a free report or any other offer that entices visitors to share their contact information with you in return for content they value.

All of the above, especially the unique selling proposition and the opt-in form, must be prominent on the home page without any scrolling required. Effective, high-impact websites have far more elements than the three listed above. For the free 15-Point Checklist of Web Site Essentials, go to www.marketvolt.com/web-checklist.


This post, by MarketVolt’s Tom Ruwitch, first appeared in St. Louis Small Business Monthly, for which Ruwitch writes a monthly marketing column.

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